9 Ways to Ring in the Year of the Rooster

In a city that has one of the largest Chinese New Year celebrations in the country, it's hard to know where to go (and what to eat) first. Lucky for you, VanMag has complied a list of ways to celebrate.

January 23, 2017

By Carly Whetter / Photo: Vancouver Magazine

For the Culture Aficionado

Chinatown Spring Festival Parade

In it’s 44th year, it’s hard to miss the annual Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown (parade route, cbavancouver.ca). On January 29, the parade starts at 11 a.m. at the Millennium Gate on Pender St. and runs for a full 2.5 hours, wrapping up the grand tour at Keefer and Carrall St. Make sure you get down there early to beat the 100,000 other spectators that will be joining you along the route, and watch the 3,000 entries, from dancing to fireworks. Now that’s how you start the New Year with a (forgive us) bang.

chinese-new-year
Photo Credit: Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

If you want to beat the crowds, stop by the Classical Garden (578 Carrall Street, vancouverchinesegarden.com) for the new exhibition “Coming Home: Traditions of Chinese New Year” from January 14 to February 24. The exhibition features four themes (decorating, eating, connecting, and celebrating), and the long run of the exhibition will allow you to get in the spirit even before the holiday. If you’re the go-big-or-go-home type, you can also catch the “Year of the Rooster Temple Fair” after the parade for tai-chi demonstrations, arts and crafts, and traditional music.

International Buddhist Temple 

The International Buddhist Temple (9160 Steveston Highway, buddhisttemple.ca) is open year-round, but it becomes a particularly special place on Lunar New Year’s Eve (Friday, January 27). Whether you go for the religious services, to view the renowned gardens, for the educational community or to appreciate the art, there won’t ever be a dull moment. The temple is entry by donation, and is open to all members of the community.

For the Foodie

Floata Seafood Restaurant 

You can continue the festivities at the official post-parade banquet, where Floata Seafood Restaurant (#400-180 Keefer Street, floata.com) will have a full reception and a variety show with performances—all with food in hand. That’s what we call celebrating.

Heritage Asian Eatery

Check another Dine Out location off your list while celebrating the Year of the Rooster at the Heritage Asian Eatery (108 W Pender St, eatheritage.ca). During their weeklong “Five Days of Fortune” event, you can win prizes or attend the one-night-only family-style 10 course meal featuring dishes like eggplant, dumplings, cured ham and mochi. “Lunar New Year is the perfect opportunity to honour my own heritage while also showcasing our unique approach to classic Asian comfort food in a fun, communal environment,” says Heritage Chef/Owner Felix Zhou.

Photo Credit: Amy Ho/Heritage Asian Eatery
Photo Credit: Amy Ho/Heritage Asian Eatery

For the Art Lover

District Local at Fortune Sound Club 

“Get Lucky: An Art Show at Fortune Sound Club” (147 E Pender St, districtlocal.com) will feature work by artists in the medium of their choice, using red envelopes as a canvas. The event is produced by District Local, with thanks to Fortune Sound Club and hua foundation. Here, you celebrate art and the Lunar New Year at the same time.

district-local
Photo Credit: Ch’INK-san Tattoo/District Local

For the Whole Family

LunarFest 2017

If you can’t wait for the parade (we know we can’t), the LunarFest (lunarfest.org) is in it’s 7th year of celebration and has workshops, arts and crafts, performances, and games during the week leading up to the New Year. You can attend at either Oakridge Centre or Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza.

International Village Mall

If you want something for all ages, check out the 4,000 participating performances, exhibitions, and games at International Village Mall (88 West Pender St., internationalvillagemall.ca). With activities for the kids, a craft and flower market, and a painting and sculpture exhibition, there’s plenty to do.

FlyOver Canada: Flight of the Dragon 

Despite the rainy (or lately, chilly) weather, there’s always line ups for Canada Place’s FlyOver Canada virtual ride. To celebrate the Lunar New Year, you can fly across Canada, and then over China’s landscapes in Flight of the Dragon. If only a real trip to China were this easy (201 – 999 Canada Place, flyovercanada.com).

flyover-canada
Credit: FlyOver Canada

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